Saturday, February 20, 2010

BREAKING THE SILENCE on the breaking of vows and promises

Yes, it has been a while.

Not that I think I'd be missed.

But even Tiger Woods has broken his silence, I thought I better do something about maintaining my online journal/blog. Otherwise some people might actually think that I am 'dead and gone' too.

Yes, I am starting where I left off with the last blog post.

Why? Because I have a point to make.

It is interesting to me how the media circus has evolved into. Especially when I have bear witness to the many different ways people have used it, or abused it.

So, my dear Tiger, do you think the year of the Tiger would be better for you? What do you hope to achieve by issuing this controlled press conference? Is it forgiveness you seek? If so, from who exactly? At the rate you are apologising, are you expecting that everyone will be ready to make nice? does that Dixie Chicks' song go again -

Forgive, sounds good

Forget, I'm not sure I could

They say time heals everything

But I'm still waiting

Oh, I am willing to bet that Elin is waiting too. She's probably singing this very song - especially this part -

I'm not ready to make nice

I'm not ready to back down

I'm still mad as hell and

I don't have time to go round and round and round

It's too late to make it right

I probably wouldn't if I could

'Cause I'm mad as hell

Can't bring myself to do what it is you think I should

Yes, I am picking on Tiger Woods as an example but not to ridicule him or his pain. I am sure as much as he has felt the pain or is feeling the pain, he will never truly understand the extent of the pain others had to endure because of his decision to do all the wrong things.

I am using Tiger as an example, as a case in point because his failures mirror ours. His bad behaviour is reflective of ours.

In truth, Tiger Woods is no different from us all.
Since when did we ever realise how much agony and suffering we had put others through when we decide to behave badly or madly?

Since when did we ever think about how others may not be ready to make nice because  we have put them through so much shit as it is already?

Since when did we even think that just because we came around to apologise that does not mean that we are entitled to be forgiven instantly?

Apologising does not amount to anything.

What remedial actions have we taken?

Where is the contrition, or atonement?

To earn FORGIVENESS from those we have hurt and wronged, we must be ready to accept the fact that it will only come about AT THEIR OWN PACE, IN THEIR OWN TIME, AT THEIR DECISION and IN THEIR OWN TERMS.

Not from ours.

It is NOT going to happen from our point of reference, not from our realms of expectations and definitely, not just because we said we are sorry.

Sorry does not re-build trust, friendship or mend anything that we broke. Especially TRUST and HEART.

Sure, no one is perfect and everyone screws up at some point in our lives - many times in our lives, in fact.

But does the pattern actually repeat itself? Do we really even feel sorry or are we merely saying empty apologies, no matter how dramatic or public it can be?

Contrition is more than just saying sorry.

We must actually feel a sense of deep sorrow for the things we have done wrong.

A good reality check is this - how deeply sorry do you truly feel? Enough to undergo a public humiliation for it? And why not?

If we didn't have any qualms about doing all the wrong deeds, then how could we specify the terms of making amends, asking for forgiveness and in the process, just trying to save our face or limiting our own responsibility and even punishment?

Are we entitled to demand all the above when we are the culprits, the guilty ones?

Are we entitled to seek for understanding and appeal for leniency, compassion or mercy?

What does it really say about us when we repeatedly abuse the kindness of others, the generosity and grace of those around us? What does that truly say about the people we are when we continue to drain the compassion of others, and just expect them to put up with us happily because they should. Especially if they are in the spiritual path. Like a Dharma Center or they are Dharma students, monks, nuns, priests or anyone with so much of a spiritual badge on their sleeve?

If you have the courage to be honest and tell the truth - you will admit that you were never truly sorry to begin with because you have continued to behave badly, let people down and you have not changed. Not in the real sense, at least.

The results speak for itself. Enough of making of excuses and using of excuses.

A pattern exists because we made it so. It will not end, unless we end it.

Being in Dharma or any spiritual organization does not mean you are healed, or will be healed. It certainly does not make you any holier, just by being in it.

WE have to allow the healing process to take place and we have to un-learn our bad habits and replace them with good ones.

Similarly, going into rehab or counselling, will not make us better because we have to take the medication and work on ourselves in order to become better.

The road to recovery does not begin by us being in a hospital, rehab or even seeing the doctor. Hence, the path to becoming a better person, does not just begin by being in the spiritual place, or being in Dharma. Or even listening to teachings.

It is what we decide to do after all that, on a daily basis.

It begins when you decide to take that bitter medication, time and time again - until you are actually better, healed and have become stronger in your commitment to being a far better person than you were.

And for those who think that we are already so good or holy just because we are in Dharma and doing Dharma work, ask yourself - how well are you upholding all your tasks?

Are you doing things half-heartedly? Are you leaving things out and allowing a sub-standard quality to exemplify your level of work? Well, if this is so and there have been many complaints, then it is clear - you are just not that into it.

In fact, to be frank - you may be in Dharma, but the Dharma is NOT in you.

So, perhaps you should ask yourself, then why are you in Dharma in the first place.

This question is applicable to every situation in our life - not just Dharma. It is relevant to work, to friendship, to marriage, or any aspect of life. Because Dharma is life and life is Dharma.

I am not lecturing anyone in particular, but myself.

These are the very things I tell myself.

These are the conversations I have with myself inside my head - my inner dialogue.

What I see and learn every day, even from people and situation far removed from me, I still reflect upon them because humanity is all inclusive.

I know I have a long way to go before I put my Guru and Dharma above everything else. Or everyone else, for that matter.

I know my mind is still so absorbed into cherishing itself above all else.

I know that I may be re-born as a cow with ugly brown patches or a dirt fly if I do not truly improve on myself each and every day.

Knowing is only one thing but doing makes all things possible.

Nothing will happen when I do not do it.

And when I do it half-heartedly and leave things messed up or half-baked, the results will be exactly as so.

In the end, there is really no one else to blame, but myself.

We are the product of all our own actions and decisions.

Even our lack of actions and our in-decisions become our outcomes.

So, in the end, when we continue the path of breaking of vows and promises - we are actually breaking ourselves.

Then, is it any wonder why we are in the situation we are in, having the problems we have and facing the music we are facing.

Is it so hard to believe that it is all our own doing?


  1. Couldn't agree more.
    I think the biggest and constant challenge we face is complete surrender which demands acceptance of total responsibility.
    By stripping off this protective skin of self-indulgence in us, we expose our vulnerability and all our fears (frequently unnecessary ones) prevail. However, it can be a liberating experience in knowing our real strengths when we manage the fears which hold us back.
    As the result of this personal encounter, one enjoys a deep sense of fulfilment and peace of mind. Exhilarating!!

  2. T. Woods's apology is so lame. But I guess, we 'have to learn to understand and forgive'. That's what happens when you have great talent but no foundation of values.


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